By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
As you may know, Portland has given away an astounding 21,000 brand new tents and 69,000 tarps to the homeless — and homeless increased by 30%.
It was so overplayed that residents complained of seeing unopened boxes of brand new expensive tents lying around like litter in their neighborhoods.
Portland City Commissioner Rene Gonzales ran on a campaign of fixing the homeless problem. One of his first acts is to stop the free tent/tarp giveaway.
The media response is to blame recent snow storm deaths on the halting of free tents.
Last year, Portland saw a record breaking homeless death in the city. A 50% increase. This happened during the DURING the peak of the free tent/tarp giveaway.
By that imperfect measure, giving away free tents is actually causing homeless to die. Fancy free tents only lure people to the city and lure existing homeless away from from seeking shelter in the first place. A different solution is needed.
When snow storms come, they will always take lives — sheltered or unsheltered. Those who are homeless need more than a tarp to survive — they need actual shelter.
Rene Gonzales made the right decision.
Portland is not going to solve its homeless problem — a crisis for nearly 7 years — until we stop making the worst decisions.
As said, Dumping nearly 100,000 free tents/tarps only increased homeless by 30%. It is the right decision to end this failed program.
Here are some actual words from West Coast homeless and it ain’t a lack of tents.